Guitar Center shoots themselves in the foot again

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Sgt Pepper

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Tske it to the manager, explain it, and offer to buy it with the adjustments. My experience is that you could have gotten it, and probably even a bit of discount off the retail price. A great many of the young salespeople are clueless.
 

Papanate

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So I'm at the Guitar Center trying out an inspired by Gibson Epiphone J45 because I'd heard great things about them.

The guitar itself was great, especially for the the money, an all solid acoustic that is basically a Gibson J45 for under $800. Not cheap but a great value.

Guitar Center didn't get that sale and it would have been so easy if they just tried.
IT's not Guitar Center - it's the kid Clerk - if you really wanted the guitar you could have brought it to the manager and dealt with it - most likely the kid doesn't have any say in stuff like that - and another thing - Epiphone doesn't put out new guitar with dead strings - it may have been new to the store but it was from some other store where it sat for a year.
 

Wrighty

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With so many good stores in and around Boston, the fact GC survives at all just shows how many bad consumers there are.
My one and only visit to a GC was to the one on my avatar, at Boston. I was ignored and received no service what-so-ever when I pro-actively approached a young chap…………
 

Controller

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I was in Minneapolis recently at Guitar Center on a Saturday, my mistake. The sound of countless guitar players of various skill playing random riffs was deafening and set my nervous system on fire. I felt great compassion for the GC employees and realized I couldn't do that job for even a day. So yes, there are employees who fail to meet expectations but then there are the customers...

GC has never done me wrong and I have bought a number of amps and guitars from them. I go into a guitar store to get a feel for the model, neck shape, features and rarely plug it in. I like to try it out at home so once I am on the hunt for an electric guitar I will often order it online and set it up and try it at home. Acoustics are a bit different. At this same GC I went into the acoustic room and got a chance to try a number of different brands of acoustic. Some of them had flaws but if really interested I would have found one of the harried salespeople and pursued the guitar.
 

cyclopean

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I have to wonder if all those who complain that GC or any guitar shop that displays guitars that need setups, have ever run a retail and resale business?

The ratio of number of sales per number of staff it takes to cover overhead, make a profit for the business, and pay all the living expenses of every staff member, really does not have room for a guitar tech to set up every guitar then check them all periodically.
Setups cost money, staff costs money, cleaning the place costs money, selling a guitar does not net a lot of money, storing that guitar loses money which is the same as costing money.
Locking the store at closing and leaving it shut down, all night it is costing money closed.

Same as shoppers complaining about how boutique gear is too expensive and USA made gear is over priced.
Americans hate it when other Americans earn money!
Give me services for free dang it!
A broken string visibly hanging off a guitar?
 

Ben Harmless

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IT's not Guitar Center - it's the kid Clerk

But that's the problem - the staff are a direct reflection on the store itself. It's not like GC isn't responsible for that.

The problem as I see it is that GC is yet another business which keeps itself open by making its employees bear much of the cost - they pay poorly, set commission structures that are impossible for most people, and they can't keep staff, which is sad, because I've met a number of nice people working there at times. There are costs to that kind of business model which aren't recorded anywhere.

I'm in the greater Boston area, and there are six guitar centers in a 30 mile radius, and eight within 40. I keep my expectations low, and typically only go in for used stuff I see online. That said, I recommend the GC in Nashua, NH for very nice staff and for whatever reason, the best used inventory in the region. When I'm at that store, I see more time being spent with customers, and care taken to actually make eye contact and speak to people who are just buying strings. I don't buy that it can't happen in other stores.

The independents get most of my actual money though. MusicGoRound in Natick. The Music Emporium in Lexington. Sometimes Mr. Music, but I find them hit-or-miss these days, I no longer live down the block, parking is miserable there, and taking the Green line is like gambling with half your day...
 

Dostradamas

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Corporate Retailers Suck!

beating_a_dead_horse.jpg


Support local and independent
 
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Knows3Chords

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I was in Minneapolis recently at Guitar Center on a Saturday, my mistake. The sound of countless guitar players of various skill playing random riffs was deafening and set my nervous system on fire. I felt great compassion for the GC employees and realized I couldn't do that job for even a day. So yes, there are employees who fail to meet expectations but then there are the customers...

I always thought working at a GC with a hangover would be like hell on earth.
 

tele_savales

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I was in the CF Martin booth at the NAMM show and I tried about ten guitars that all had strings on them that were probably older than me. I was actually shocked at how poor every single guitar was. Put me off Martins forever. Lost a potential customer.
 

FenderGyrl

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I cant remember the last time I was in a Guitar Center? Probably more than 10 years ago.

Huh...
 

middy

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I definitely understand the OP's frustration with the situation he encountered. I don't know that it's necessarily GC's fault, however. The GC closest to me -- about 12 minutes from my house -- has always been one of the better GCs around. Over many years, they have done well by me, many times over. But when coronavirus hit and California shut down all non-essential businesses, GC lost all their employees. Now, like other retailers, they are struggling to find employees. Not just "qualified" employees -- they are struggling to find ANY employees at all. Here in the S.F. Bay Area, it's a problem for many retailers and restaurants. I don't know if the Boston area is having that same problem, but could be.
How can anyone there afford to live on what they pay? They only hire trust fund babies and high school kids and retired people?
 

lammie200

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So I'm at the Guitar Center trying out an inspired by Gibson Epiphone J45 because I'd heard great things about them.

The guitar itself was great, especially for the the money, an all solid acoustic that is basically a Gibson J45 for under $800. Not cheap but a great value.

EXCEPT the strings were deader than dead and the neck had a back bow so that you start fretting out around the 5th or 6th fret....................

Too bad I think, this sounds pretty good even with beat strings etc. Around that time a GC kid walks in to the acoustic room with another guitar to place on the rack.

I say to the kid, "This guitar could use the neck adjusted and a set of strings because it's almost unplayable and you're asking $749.00 for it". He says, "Well our tech would do a small adjustment for free but if you need more work, strings and so fourth you'd have to pay extra". I say, because I'm sure this person simply doesn't understand the logistics of this situation "Hmmm this brand new guitar doesn't present well because it can't be played above the 5th fret and who's gonna plunk down $749.00 then have to pay additional just to make this brand new guitar playable"? He looks at me and then says, "Well it's brand new from Epiphone and we just put it out today".

I give up, but I think to myself, brand new from Epiphone. And just put it out today complete with 100 year old strings and a back bow so bad you can't play it?

Guitar Center didn't get that sale and it would have been so easy if they just tried.
I haven't read through the entire thread but did you ask them if they had any others in stock that haven't been demo'd?
 

RoscoeElegante

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I much agree with the support-the-mom-&-pop-shops ethic around here.

But FWIW, the several times I grazed Chicago Musical Exchange, the staff asked me if the strings on the several guitars I was checking were okay, came and found me when an amp room opened up, etc.

And I noticed, during lulls, staff members cruising the racks to check out various guitars themselves--running their hands on the strings, checking any bows, cleaning off any dust, etc. A few times, a guitar was taken to the back room for some quick adjusting and then returned to the rack.

Nice to see a place doing things right, even if, of course, their volume has bulldozed some smaller stores out of business. (They also didn't rush me out of however many hours I spent with a '56 Strat that remains the best-playing guitar I ever picked up.)
 

Strat Jacket

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It's a cut-throat biz. I recently visited my LGS first time since that which cannot be mentioned and was appalled at how it had gone down-hill...only a handful of amps and various guitar models compared to the past, and most of them marked at MSRP. Understaffed. Last visit there they had 6 Vox amps on the floor in various flavors (wanted to check one out), this time, none. They are a Fender dealer yet only had less than half a dozen Fender amps out. Mostly Squiers and AP Strats and Teles, most in colors you wouldn't want to be seen in public with.
Yet you can go on GC, Sweetwater or MF website and find exactly what you are looking for and generally cheaper than any price you could beg, plead or cry the local mom-n-pop down to. Retail theft. Damage to inventory. Employees who could care less, and store managers who could care less about them as a result.
So, ya get what you pay for. If you really want that pristine axe that's EXACTLY what you want, with new strings and perfect setup, go visit the boutique shops and pay their toll. Or just suck it up and play the cards you get dealt.
 

viking

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Just wait until there are no stores at all left ........... there is nothing left here , I have bought everything online for years.
 
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